Three students work on a physics project.


The Department of Physics offers excellent education in the field of physics. Whether your career goal is teaching, working in technology or scientific research, or daring to make the next great breakthrough in our understanding of the universe, we offer a physics degree tailored to your dreams. 


Our goal is to provide the best undergraduate education in physics. By choice, we don’t have a graduate program! Instead, we are focused on our undergraduates. All of our classes are taught by professors selected for their commitment to quality teaching. No massive lecture halls full of stadium seating in this major; instead, your core physics courses are capped at 36 seats. This allows for quality mentorship and individualized instruction.

We offer hands-on research, both during the school year and during our Physics Summer Research Investigations (PSRI) program. Current research experiences available to our students include instrumentation development, stellar formation, femtosecond spectroscopy, ultra-cold atoms, lasers and optics, quantum sensing, and computational modeling of the solar interior.

We have an active Society of Physics Students chapter and a brand-new science building.


Our students go on to careers in research, teaching, industry, programming, entrepreneurship—want specifics? Look at any cell tower. See devices with a lightning-bolt logo? That company was started by a California State University, Chico physics grad. Another recent graduate built a lab company that tests commercial devices for (UL) certification. Another does massively-parallel computation development for Nvidia.

We regularly have students go on to doctoral work at major universities, and our campus is the primary source of high school science teachers for the entire Northern California.